What causes acne conglobata (AC)?

Updated: Apr 24, 2019
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

The primary cause of acne conglobata remains unknown.

Changes in reactivity to Cutibacterium acnes (formerly Propionibacterium acnes) may play an important role in the etiology of the disease.

Exposure to halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons (eg, dioxins) or ingestion of halogens (eg, thyroid medication, hypnotic agents) may trigger acne conglobata in an individual who is predisposed.

Other factors that can provoke acne conglobata include androgens (eg, androgen-producing tumors) and anabolic steroids.

Acne conglobata and acne fulminans may appear after cessation of testosterone therapy or as a reaction to other medications. [9]


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